In the gospel this Sunday (Mk 6: 7-13), we see the Lord first, bestowing on his 12 apostles great power. They were sent out two by two on mission, and given the power to defeat the evil spirits.  That meant that they could expel demons and they could heal the sick. What power! This is too great for any ordinary man to receive!
With a power like that, surely there would be privileges. But wait, the gospel is telling us something Jesus also did. The Lord Jesus demanded great poverty from his disciples, right after he bestowed on them great power.
In the natural, if you have power, you must enjoy that power. You must ride the best car. Eat the finest food. Have a stock of provisions. It won’t hurt if you have some cash on the side for emergencies.
But the Lord Jesus said No!  No car; you just walk.  The walking stick and the  sandals are a concession because the travel would be too difficult for tired and barefooted men. No food; just be ready to go hungry and maybe even beg. No sack of provisions; but be ready to feel insecure.  No money, rather, experience how it is to be poor. Oh, you may bring another tunic, so you can at least wash your clothes and have a spare one to change into.  But that’s all.
Why did Jesus act like this? And to his closest friends at that, his most trusted allies in spreading the Good News.
Why? So that the power given to the 12 will not be drowned by comfort, luxury, contentment, riches and pride.  With great power comes great responsibility, said Spiderman. But the Lord is saying to us now: with great power comes great temptation – the temptation to think that you are the source of that power; that the things around you are the ones that give you the energy and strength; that material things are our security in life.
Jesus demanded great poverty so that the 12 disciples will remember that it is God who supplies them with power.
Do you notice how when we have less, we instinctively feel close to God. But if we have more, don’t we also so easily lose contact with God?
Lord, you give me power to live, to work, to study, to serve. Give me also the grace to remember that it is You alone who is my strength, my rock, my salvation. Help me to say No to having all the comforts of life and to say Yes to your miracles, your surprises, and your unfailing providence. Amen.